Dead Reckoning

Dead Reckoning
Platforms: PC
Publisher: Piranha Interactive
Developer: Goldtree Enterprises
Genres: 3D Shooter / First-Person Shooter
Release Date: 1997
Game Modes: Singleplayer

What do you do when you’ve been abducted from Earth by a sadistic Master Race? Fight for your life in the game they’ve arranged for their amusement. Losing isn’t an option – the fate of Earth hangs in the balance. Facing you in battle is a host of repulsive and violent aliens who are just as pissed off as you are about being thrown into the fight of their lives. That’s the main premise behind Dead Reckoning, a Descent clone that takes you to the skies.

The graphics are decent enough to be on par with Uprising and Incoming, similar vehicular-based shooters that use an ungodly amount of explosions, particle effects and colorful lens flares to get the action across. Such a focus on graphics over matter is observable here as well. The action in Dead Reckoning takes place in outdoor arenas, with the 360 degree action being brutally fast as well.

4All of the gameplay takes place in fifteen arena-style maps with predictable layouts. The repetition of bridges and places to hide within a cylindrical arena made for relatively predictable gameplay. There are different ships for you to chose from, each having their own strengths and weaknesses in speed, firepower etc, alongside different aliens to play as. The ships can be very well pitted against each other, and an even nicer feature was the ability to choose which ships your wingmen get to fly. The main emphasis is on simple action, however, not on any meaningful tactics.

System Requirements: Pentium 90 MHz, 16 MB RAM, Win95

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One Comment

  1. Gerhalt says:

    “Uprising and Incoming, similar vehicular-based shooters” my ass!
    No they’re not similar. The famous Descent series – yes. Why? In a nutshell Dead Reckoning is 6DOF tournament action where there’s no exploration or lazy drifting thru a mazelike environments. Oh no – this one’s fast & furious deathmatch bombshell that requires constant maneuvering as well as split-second reflexes & lightning fast actions in order to emerge victorious. The actual battles take place within a tubular shaped arenas containing tons of different obstacles one can use to his or her advantage on the one hand. On the other hand however those obstacles could become a real problem since enemies are well aware of them too and dont hesitate to take cover whenever the going gets tough. The AI doesnt fool around if you ask me, especially on harder difficulty settings.
    Additionally there are 2 far points protected by stationary turrets, each of which represents you and your arch rivals’ bases respectively. Those are spots of your respawn depending on the color of your team whether it’s red or blue. Moreover, if any team manages to destroy the rival base – that’s an instant victory for the daring.
    There are also special spots (like craters) you can claim as yours by simply touching them, but beware – the enemy will try to do the same. What are those spots for? The more you (or your wingmen) claim to your color, the faster your ship will regenerate its shield strength – that’s why you shouldnt let those bastards claim the bloody spots. Once they heal faster, they’ll blast your squad to smithereens.
    Oh, and speaking of wingmen. Remember: you are the squad leader who has the right to issue a bunch of orders to your teammates. These orders are given by pressing an appropriate F# key. The first 6 F# keys are for the 1st wingman, while the keys from F7 up to F12 will give orders to wingman #2. What are those exactly? Try it for yourself & have fun!
    Lastly, your ship’s capable of sliding across the inner surface of a tube. It’s activated by some key (I forgot which one exactly, sorry) forcing your ship to attach to the wall/floor/ceiling as if it’s magnetically charged.

    Actually, the game’s got more features to it, you’ll have to find out on your own. In my opinion it’s well worth exploring different tactics within different locales.
    Upon a final word, I’d like to mention that Dead Reckoning is quite unfriendly towards modern OS and probably wont run in Vista & above without some proper tuning. It wasnt designed to function in such OS in the first place anyway.

    P.S. just look at those freaky faces they want you to associate yourself with! It’s hilarious!

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